UDOT Deputy Director Carlos Braceras stressed upcoming areas of focus, agency accomplishments, communication and supporting the local business community in a speech at the general session at the UDOT Conference.
Bridges in the state are in good shape. However, many bridges are reaching their useful life and need to be replaced. Capacity projects have allowed UDOT to replace many bridges, however, 40 to 60 year old bridges still in operation need to be replaced at 50 per year. Many older bridges need significant rehabilitation.
Private sector partnership
UDOT projects impact the local economy by working with 602 companies and over 12 thousand employees. Supporting the local economy through working with private industry will be an central focus of communication efforts and how UDOT works with local businesses during construction.
Braceras mentioned one project for each of four UDOT Regions and praised team members who are guiding the projects to completion – all will be completed on time and under budget.
- Geneva Road extends and expands a five lane section of roadway in Utah County
- Ogden 12th Street, Washington to Harrison rehabilitates pavement on the busy arterial.
- 4100 South and Bangerter Highway, part of the Bangerter 2.0 project group, improves west to east travel in Salt Lake County.
- Two signals in Moab were completed very quickly and expertly in three months time.
Braceras gave an overview of a communication plan in formation – while the work to form the plan is not complete, some good information has been obtained through research conducted among UDOT employees and the general public.
Overall, UDOT enjoys a positive image among members of the general public. People who were questioned see UDOT as innovative, and road users see benefits of work done to improve traffic flow.
Feed back from the general public included good and not-so-good comments. Road users named the Express Pass and the ABC-move-into-place bridges as benefits to travel. Frustrations include too many projects at once, and barrels and cones in place when no apparent work is taking place.
UDOT leaders will use the information obtained to build a communication plan for internal and external use. Employees will be involved in communicating UDOT’s message – to friends, family, neighbors – every one at UDOT will be a communicator. And, since some customer groups have expressed a desire to hear about the good work done by UDOT, more time will be spend bragging, said Braceras.
To support a better communication with employees, Braceras has opened a Twitter account and will tweet regularly. Follow Carlos on Twitter at @carlosudot.
Taking Care of Business
With the addition of a new strategic goal, UDOT will have the opportunity to step back and evaluate what projects mean to the local community. Project Managers, Resident Engineers and all project team members need to understand businesses on the construction corridor during and after construction. Braceras charged the listening audience – largely UDOT employees and private sector partners, to evaluate “everything we do” and think carefully how work can be accomplished more effectively ad efficiently.